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Tana’s Shed

Good afternoon from Gullringstorp!
Yesterday I got a rare view of my little Tana in the middle of her shed. Not sure why she was out and about in this state, but it was really interesting to see. I even witnessed her eating a portion her shed on one of her cute feet. Normally she decides which hide to go into and goes through this process in private.

Thank you Tana for this treat.


Good afternoon from Gullringstorp!
Thelma had her hunt and peck time on the grass early today because of possible rain this afternoon. 

She really enjoyed herself.

A New Home for our Bachelors 

Good afternoon from Gullringstorp!
We are so very happy to say that our 3 bachelors have found a new home. This lovely family have 39 rescue battery hens and were in much need of roosters.

Our boys will be so happy. They will divide the 39 ladies between them. I can’t wait to learn their new names and see them in their new home. They will be free range which really makes me happy. They have been in the boy’s box with a window to sit in and enjoy the fresh air. Now they will be on the grass and have the freedom they should.

Today has been a good day.


Last rooster caught and joins his pas in the box


A run away rooster


Everyone who visits Gullringstorp, really enjoy viewing our car collection


Thelma gets lots of attention. She’s such a sweetie.


Thelma’s so gentle, even kids can hold her

Tana wants a Li’l Sis Eco-Friendly Snuggle Pouch

Good afternoon from Gullringstorp!
Looks like Tana is letting me know that she wants her very own Li’l Sis Eco-Friendly Snuggle Pouch.

She really loves to snuggle inside one of the pouches on our bed. She goes all the way in and then peeks her head out for chin tickles.

Looks like I’m headed back to my sewing machine to make a gecko sized Snuggle Pouch.



Good afternoon from Gullringstorp!
What’s a cat supposed to do when the cat door is blocked!

Poor Tasha!😊

Tova’s Birth May 21, 2017

We were all looking forward to the first birth in our new herd. Although there was excitement in the air, there was also a sense of reserved nervousness. This was not a planned pregnancy as have been every pregnancy here at Gullringstorp. We breed according to age of our does and my need for milk for my business, Li’l Sis Eco-Friendly Goat Milk Soap. Each mating is carefully planned.

When we started our new herd, we learned of a couple of our goats having escaped their previous enclosures. This presented a challenge for us because our fencing worked perfectly for our previous herd.  At this point we added two more rows of electric cord to our fence.  Well, this was not sufficient as we found out one day when we went to check on our new goats to find an extra goat in the buck’s enclosure. Wow, were we shocked !! We got her out as quickly as we could just hoped that nothing had happened.

Our little Tova developed an udder and then we knew she had been bred.  The worrying had just begun. I tried to be happy and excited but in my mind I knew there were risks involved. Our little Tova was only 5 months old when she was accidentally bred. We always choose to breed our does at one year or a year and a half. From my researching and experience, it’s better to allow your doe to mature and grow properly. Yes, they can get pregnant at 5 mos or even 3 mos but its not wise. One concern is that the kid might be to large to pass through the birth canal easily causing issues for both mother and baby.  The other concern is that the baby is aborted, naturally, usually prematurely.

This is exactly what happened with Tova’s birth. It was actually an aborted birth of a premature kid.

As she laboured, her sister Tindra stayed very close to her. It was beautiful to watch. Tova’s labour was silent compared to other goats. Some goats can scream so loud, you would think they were dying. They can have loud blood curdling screams. It’s frightening, even is you expect this. Tova’s stoic labour made it difficult to gauge her progress. Another difference was that Tova laboured and delivered, standing up. Before we knew it, there was a baby born.

When we saw that the baby was not moving, I quickly started everything I knew to do to try and get this baby started. I swung him tying to clear his chest of mucus. I cleared his nose and mouth to remove excess mucus. Leif handed me a towel which I used to vigorously rub baby to help start breathing. I also gave mouth to mouth with CPR compressions. I worked for nearly 40 mins a with no luck. We removed the baby and I stayed with Tova for over an hour for her to either deliver a second baby or her afterbirth.

We were so sad not to have a viable baby and we were very sad for Tova. I sat with her on the straw bed in her box. I stepped outside for a bit of fresh air and just a change. It was the strangest sensation to step out into the sunshine and green. It was like a movie when the person steps through a door and it’s a different world. Everything seemed so much greener and the sun was so much brighter. I was transported to a fantasy world, for just a few moments.

After the long wait, Tova delivered her afterbirth and there was no second baby. Tova’s udder was full but after the difficult time she had, I decided to wait till the next day to milk her. She was afraid at first so I brought in her sister which helped her settle dow on the milk stand. First thing I did was to gently wash her udder of all the birthing residue. I made a warm bath and used soft cloths to clean her of all the straw that was stuck to her. She seemed to enjoy this. After she was all dry, I rubbed in warmed up udder cream. when I hooked her up to the milking machine she was afraid. I understood she would be afraid, at first. She sat down which of course made it difficult to hook up to her teets. Finally she stood up and before we knew it, we were finished. She gave a good amount of colostrum which I have frozen. This will be saved if anyone needs this first milk full of antibodies.

After her milking, I took both Tova and her sister Tindra out for a walk  around Gullringstorp, to graze on yummy grasses and branches. Poor Tova cried such a sad mournful cry as she nibbled the grass and branches. It made me cry. I had noticed that she had been looking around her box, for her baby. It took time for her to realise, that she had a baby but now wanted that baby. I just felt she needed an easy grazing and not be pushed around by the other goats in the enclosure. They had their walk in the morning and in the evening.

Today after milking, the girls had another walk. Her cries were not so abundant and she really needed attention. She got lots of rubs and kisses as she enjoyed grass and flowers.

Because we are a Gene Bank for these beautiful Lappgetter, it was important to find out what we were expected to do with the little body. Leif searched all the papers we had in our Gene Bank folder, nothing. An email was sent to Ann Jessica to let her know what happened and asked if there were any special procedures we were expected to adhere to. There were none. She also explained that conceiving at such a young age would commonly result in premature aborted kids. I knew this but was just hoping beyond hope that her baby would be ok.

It’s a sad time at Gullringstorp. I know it will pass as Tova moves on and enjoys the nice days in the enclosure. I, on the other hand am still blue.


Tindra stood on the drum and stayed very close to Tova during labour and delivery


The little baby was laid on the towel we used to try and rub life into him. As I walked outside, I looked at the baby closely. I saw that all was perfect accept his hooves which had not completed their development. They were soft. I couldn’t help but kiss him and tell him he would join other babies and he would see his mommy again one day. Instinct led me to cover him with the towel, as if he were sleeping.


Tova’s udder needed cleaning up


Washed with a warm bath. All clean.



A small amount of warmed up Udder Cream was massage into her clean udder


Tindra joined Tova in the milking room for support


This is Tova’s colostrum. This is mother’s first milk rich with important antibodies


The girls heading out for their walk
















I know this is life on a farm, but that never seems to take away the sting of loss.




A Visit to Gullringstorp!

We had a delightful guest visit Gullringstorp this past Sunday. I have many people who follow my life as a city girl turned country gal. They thoroughly enjoy all the tales of life on our farm. My goats , chickens and other critters, all have a story. I share the good and bad of farm life while trying to accentuate the good. Everyone has a fantasy about life here st Gullringstorp. Whenever someone comes to visit, I get just a bit nervous. I don’t want a vision and expectation to be shattered by the reality of farm life.

Our guest was Stephanie from Switzerland. She wanted to meet everyone at Gullringstorp. She named EVERYONE. So cute.

You would have died laughing if you witnessed our greeting at our train station. We have been exchanging ideas, thoughts and photos and tid bits of each other’s lives, for years, through FaceBook. We hugged and grinned and hugged and screamed. I don’t care if I make noise and apparently neither does Stephanie. Oh it was just wonderful. 

As we entered the property, Stephanie learned of the loss of our 20 meter high 200 year old trees that we lost in a big storm. It’s a sad story to tell, but I feel I must as we have just one left out of 6. Stephanie knows that I regularly hug that tree and kiss her and thank her for staying with us.

Entering the front door, Stephanie was so tickled to meet Max and Finn. She kept saying, ” OMG!! It’s really Max and Finn”! There was much to see inside and many to meet.  Then our cat Tasha came to meet Stephanie. Our senior cats were met as well as Bonnie and Clyde, large fish upstairs, Boris and Tana. 

We spent a great deal of time in my nostalgia nook enjoying some of my collected books. Christmas books from around the works and mouse books as well. Oh we had a delightful time.

We walked from room to room and in each room there were stories to be told. Stephanie was even treated to a rare view of my Li’l Sis Goat Milk Soap workshop.

Once outside, we entered a very special world of critters and the stories flowed once again. 

Stephanie enjoyed our tractor, cars and she even sat in Leif’s race car. She enjoyed looking at all the wonderful tools and vintage cars.

Stephanie was introduced to our chicken families after a tour of the stable with some of its many stories. She was able to give all the chickens, bread cubes. That’s fun to do and watch them all run to gobble them up.

She met my 2 patient chickens. Sara has sore feet so gets a foot bath every morning in warm water and vinegar. She also met and fell in love with Thelma who was traumatized by a hawk trying to carry her away. She is watched closely by myself and babysat on the grass by Max . When it’s time to leave the chicken yard, she enjoys the day in a special enclosure that my husband made for her. She gets to enjoy the day and her family take sand baths right next to her. They can chat if they want to. Thelma loves to be carried so Stephanie was also able to carry her. I think that was the highlight of the day, carrying sweet little Thelma.

Then it was out to visit the goats. We were blessed with a sunny warm day. It was really beautiful out in the enclosure. Stephanie met all the goats and learned their individual stories. We all had a lovely time with the goats.

Finally we sat down to lunch and enjoyed a Cajun chicken mixed green salad. We had a lovely late lunch in the breakfast room with non stop conversation. It was just so lovely. We talked and talked and lost track of time. So much so, Stephanie missed her train and rescheduled. It was actually better because, she was able to participate in our evening routine bringing in the goats and tucking in the chickens. Our goats all get sliced carrots for bedtime treats. Stephanie was able to feed the goats in the stable.

It was sad driving to the train station but Stephanie knows that she’s welcome back anytime. There was also an invitation extended for us to visit her in Switzerland.

Stephanie was so kind to bring us gifts ! Nerver expected that. Swiss chocolates, yummy. An adorable cutting board in the shape of a buck. A beautiful Swiss Swatch with a cow bell and all. Oh what a surprise!! Thank you Stephanie!!

We had a most wonderful time and so enjoyed our guest. Thank you for wanting to visit Gullringstorp! Welcome back!!

A Night at the Opera

Last night this country mouse was transported to the big city of Manhattan as I sat in a theatre  in the Swedish countryside.  I became for 3 hours 38 minutes, a city mouse.

I enjoyed the Metropolitan Opera HD transmission of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s adaptation of Alexander Pushkin’s classic Russian novel, Eugene Onegin, composed in 1879.

This is one of my favorite operas as well as ballet. the title roles were played by opera’s most stunning voices:

Tatiana: Russian soprano, Anna Netrebko

Onegin: Swedish baritone born in the north Piteå, Peter Mattei

Lensky: Russian tenor, Alexey Dolgov

Olga: Russian mezzo-soprano, Elena Maximova

It would have been an entire title role cast had Dimitri Hvorostovsky been ale to sing in the lead role as Onegin. Unfortunately due to illness, the role was recast.

This opera synopsis:

Tatiana is a young girl fro a wealthy family who falls in love with Onegin who came to visit the family home with Lensky, the fiance of Olga. One of the highlighted scenes is when Tatiana tries to write a love letter to Onegin. It’s a tortuous time for her to try and put her feelings into words, as it would be for any young lady. The scene where Onegin returns the letter to Tatiana has had various interpretations. Some have been very mean to her, not caring for her feelings at all while others were a it more gentle in their refusal to accept her feelings. In this particular version, Peter Mattei who was Onegin was not so cruel in his words but his stern and rigid body language said it all. Tatiana was crushed.

Olga was pleased with Onegin’s flirting at a house party with dinner and dancing. This upset her fiance Lensky who challenged Onegin to a duel. His manhood had been tarnished in public as his fiance danced and frolicked with another man. Lensky played by the Russian tenor Alexey Dolgov delivered a heart wrenching aria at the site of the duel. He did not survive the duel, sadly.

Years pass and Onegin is once again at a dinner party of a rich nobleman. While he walked the room he spotted Tatiana and asked his host  to introduce them. When he learned that she was his wife, he was beside himself with pain and regret. Not only had she grown into a beautiful woman but she now held a high position in Russian society.

The last scene was that of Onegin begging Tatiana to love him again and be his. It was, as always a very heart wrenching scene. Here is this tall very distinguished gentleman wrapped around Tatiana’s legs as he cried begging her to be his. He wanted her desperately to love him again. Although Tatiana still loves him, like most women who remember a first love that they never quite get over, she can not and will not leave her husband. With one last kiss, she walks away strong in her resolve to remain married. Onegin is a crumpled mess of tears, regret and disappointment on the stage floor. A very sad sight, indeed.

The beautiful music played by the Metropolitan orchestra was conducted by the British born Robin Ticciati. His feel and love for this score was clearly evident as his arms and hands waved his baton with such heart felt passion.

It was a lovely evening for this country mouse to transported to the Metropolitan Opera and be a city mouse.

met hd live

young tatiana

Tatiana on the evening when she met Onegin

peter mattei 2                                                              Peter Mattei as Onegin

lenskey right before the duel                           Lensky payed by Alexey Dolgov just before the duel

arrived at dinner party                                 Onegin spots Tatiana at the nobleman’s dinner party

married tatiana                                      Tatiana, all grown up played by Anna Netrebko

when he realzredv he coudnt have her         Onegin trying his best to plead his case and get Tatiana to love him once again

Tana’s off to bed

Good afternoon from Gullringstorp!
Tana, on her way to bed this morning. She didn’t stop for a meal today. As Tana becomes an adult, her mealtime can vary from every other day, once a week to even longer. All I need to do is look at her beautiful tail to access her state of health. A fat tail on a Leopard Gecko is a great sign of health. 

I started out bedding her mealworms on Eco-Earth but decided to change to oats. They still get carrots and greens to become “gut loaded”. They really seem to like the oats and become nice and fat. Each one is dipped in calcium and vitamin powders before offered to Tana. This makes for a delicious nutritious meal. So when she skips meals or lengthens the time between meals, I don’t worry about her.

Little Thelma 

Good afternoon from Gullringstorp!
This is little Thelma. We had a hawk come into our chicken yard about 2 weeks ago. All the chickens scattered except little Thelma. I head the noise and ran back. The yard was empty. Not a chicken in sight except little Thelma. She was alone just running in circles in the center of the yard. When I finally got a hold of her, I brought her into the house. After careful handling I discovered several wounds on her tiny fat body. She has been kept quiet inside our home for nearly 2 weeks. 

I brought her back out with the first sign of sun. Well no one claimed her. In fact she was pecked by every family I tried to reintroduce her to.

Only solution is a pen where she has all she needs and the close company of a flock.

She’s not quite right so she’s quite safe in this little pen. She seems happy pecking and nesting in the hay and straw.

Im not sure of her future but this is her life at the moment. She wad very traumatized.🙁